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2nd ODI: Chance for Iyer to seal No 4 spot

August 10, 2019 15:47 IST

The next two ODIs will also be important for Kedar Jadhav, who must consider himself lucky to keep his place after India's exit in the World Cup semi-finals.

Shreyas Iyer

IMAGE: Shreyas Iyer has had a good series with the India 'A' team, having hit two half-centuries against West Indies 'A' in the one-day games last month. Photograph: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images/Getty Images

The talented Shreyas Iyer will be auditioning for the vacant number four slot when India take on West Indies in the second ODI of the three-match series, in Port of Spain, on Sunday.

Iyer, who didn't get a game during the three-match T20I series, was in the playing XI during the rain-affected first ODI, which was abandoned after 13 overs in Guyana.

 

There is very little chance that India will tinker with their batting order so the Mumbaikar has a better chance of getting into action during the second match.

Two matches will never be enough to cement his place but a couple of decent outings will surely reduce the pressure on the young shoulders and provide a bit of security to express himself.

He has had a good series with the India 'A' team, having hit two half-centuries against West Indies 'A' in the one-day games last month, which would help boost his confidence.

Iyer being given a go at number four certainly means that KL Rahul will have to cool his heels till Shikhar Dhawan is persisted at the top of the order.

The team combination for the first game is an indicator that after a good World Cup at the top of the order post Dhawan's injury, Rahul is being looked at as a specialist opener who will only come in place of Dhawan or Rohit in case of an injury to any one of the two.

The next two ODIs will also be important for Kedar Jadhav, who must consider himself lucky to keep his place after India's exit in the World Cup semi-finals.

With Shubman Gill waiting in the wings, time is running out for the pint-sized Maharashtra cricketer, whose batting slot has been a worry for captain Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri.

Jadhav's side-arm off-spin is handy but with Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja in the playing XI, how much of it will be utilised is the bigger question.

In case Bhuvneshwar Kumar wants some rest, Navdeep Saini could come in while a bit more turn on offer would mean Yuzvendra Chahal back in the mix as an additional spinner and could replace pacer Khaleel Ahmed.

Khaleel went for 27 in three overs and was guilty of bowling short to opener Evin Lewis, who was on 40 when heavens opened up.

However, both these possibilities look remote as of now since last match got abandoned.

Lewis getting some form back augurs well for the Caribbeans who would also want 'Universe Boss' Chris Gayle to fire. The Jamaican was in wretched form during his 31-ball-knock that yielded only four runs in the first ODI.

With the West Indies selection committee not paying heed to his request for a farewell Test match at his home ground, the next two games could well be the last of an eventful and colourful character.

Teams:

India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (w/k), Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kedar Jadhav, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Navdeep Saini.

West Indies: Jason Holder (captaib), Chris Gayle, John Campbell, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran, Roston Chase, Fabian Allen, Carlos Brathwaite, Keemo Paul, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas, Kemar Roach.

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